Putting the Wesleyan Quadrilateral to use

This morning my 95 year old father who reads the Bible through about once a month said something startling to me.  He said, “How do you explain that God created evil?  God doesn’t create evil, but Isa. 45:7 says that He does.”  Honestly, I had never noticed that before in this verse.

My first was response came from reason, tradition, and comparative scripture.  I said, “Evil is not something that can be created.  It is the result of a person’s actions and the determination of a person’s will.”  Then I put experience and scripture together and began a more thorough examination of the question at hand.  My discovery was that the Hebrew word has many synonyms and that unfortunately the translators chose the wrong word.  The context agrees with the understanding that a more correct word such as “calamity” or “disaster” should have been used.  Yes, “God is the master of the winds.”  He created the possibility for tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards and other potential disasters.  We have examples in the scripture where God used these to judge people who chose to do evil things and live evil lives.  As someone said, “These things were not co-accidents.” (coincidences)

Dr. Gayle Woods

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